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Freckles are associated with being young and given to both children and teens to emphasize their age. It can also be used to brand a younger person as a misfit, perhaps because it's a easily visible mark that other children can make fun of.

Freckles are caused by exposure to sunlight, especially on those with fair skin. The propensity to freckle is determined by genetics. Redheads are genetically associated with both fair skin and freckles, although Hollywood tends to overemphasize the connection, similar to Green Eyed Red Head.

Because freckles are caused by sunlight exposure they are associated with those who run around outside all the time, symbolizing youthful energy (in both positive and negative forms). Freckles can be used to symbolize youthful innocence as well. They can also be a sign of poverty, as poor children are more likely to be Free-Range Children.

Some archetypes commonly given freckles include:

Girls with freckles have some additional associations, as freckles tend to be associated with girlish innocence. They are Fetish Fuel to some people.

Examples of Youthful Freckles include:

Anime & Manga

  • Pictured above: Ahiru from Princess Tutu.
  • Makoto "Mako" Ariga from Wandering Son has freckles; she dislikes them, thinking they make her look less cute. Her mother also has freckles.
  • Sasami from Tenchi Muyo
  • Ace from One Piece has these. Odd given that he's in his twenties and a great deal less childish than his brother Luffy. His backstory though makes it pretty clear that he fell under the Bratty Half-Pint category. It turns out to be a case of Strong Family Resemblance: his mother Rouge also had freckles, and she clearly fell into Plucky Girl territory.
    • A non-canon example: Amanda from the second TV special has freckles.
  • Max from Beyblade.
  • Housaku Samon from Kyojin no Hoshi. He fits none of these types, though, since he's pretty serious and focused; he also loses them as a young adult in Shin.
  • Prince Alor / Bandor from GoLion / Lion Voltron, who starts as a Bratty Half-Pint.

Comic Books

Comic Strips

Films — Animation

Films — Live-Action

  • Natalya Rudakova in Transporter 3, playing the kidnapped daughter Frank is forced to drive around with him. She certainly proves troublesome until they warm up to each other.


Live-Action TV


  • The Friendly Freckles Blythe doll.

Video Games

  • Mass Effect
    • Liara T'Soni. She's 106 when you meet her, but that's still pretty young by the standards of her species.
    • The default Female Shepard for Mass Effect 3 has them as well, fitting the red hair and green eyes part of this trope.
  • Homika from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, which may be a first for the franchise.
  • Yuuko Shirakawa of Katawa Shoujo, a college student who works part-time as a librarian and waitress and isn't much older than Hisao or his classmates, has them. The same applies for one nameless girl in Lilly's route who is said to be an underclassman, the only student not in third year apart from the April Fool's Day character Rika.
  • Ashe Ubert (Durant in the JP version) from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
  • Gemini Sunrise in Sakura Wars V.

Web Comics

Western Animation